Avengers: Endgame Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson
  • Directors: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
  • Disc Format: NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (DTS-HD High Res Audio), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: Region A/1 
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: 
     Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: MARVEL
  • Release Date: August 13, 2019
  • Run Time: 181 minutes

        In the new world of Hollywood blockbusters, which is essentially all the industry seems interested in pursuing these days, two types of audiences must be considered: the average moviegoers, and the fan. When dealing with the average moviegoer, they are often reading film reviewers and critics because they are ignorant or undecided. They turn to the expert opinion (which is admittedly still subjective) in order to make a decision, whether it is deciding to see a film or coming to a decision about how they feel about the viewing experience/end product. Fans, on the other hand, mostly already have their mind made up; they are reading the professionals to either reinforce these preexisting beliefs, or to disagree with them. Often they only recognizing expertise if it is confirming their own opinion, otherwise insisting that all bad reviews must come from a bitter failed filmmaker rather than admitting any validity to an opinion that besmirches something they love.

        So, why do I bring this up in great detail before even mentioning the film I am reviewing? Because to a certain degree, it doesn’t even matter if Avengers: Endgame is any good at all. When a number that large follows a dollar sign, all of the rest is just white noise. This is why Universal felt no shame in releasing each of the installments in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise, even after notoriously bad reviews from anyone with a pulse, and probably also why Disney is currently allowing Mulan to be used in a propaganda campaign against protestors in China. If it makes money, nothing else matters. If a Disney princess is being used as a tool of repression without so much as a complaint from the fanbase, is anyone really going to give a shit about the plot-holes in Endgame?

        It may sound like I am distracted, or being too harsh, but that is simply because I don’t see the point in ignoring the forest for the trees. Endgame marks another significant shift for Hollywood, down a path that started with Jaws and Star Wars, but has gotten increasingly out of control. It is no longer about selling a film to a select audience, but more fittingly considering the film we are discussing, blockbusters are now about world domination. If they aren’t selling record tickets overseas as well as in America, films are now often considered failures. Artistic merit counts for little, and even Academy Award-winning filmmakers are forced to crowd fund in order to get their projects made at all (and rarely to receive a wide theatrical release).

        But what about Endgame, I can hear you asking. If you ignore the plot-holes and contrivances, of which there are many, it is a passable narrative only elevated by the dedication of the cast and visual effects team. I wish the writers had given the same amount of dedication, rather than formulating something that felt more manipulative and derivative than creative or sincere. The fact that the final battle begins with an hour left of the over-stuffed run-time goes to show where the focus lies in this installment, bouncing from an over-indulgent and often illogical battle to a forcefully sentimental and overlong prologue. Although this ending is likely to be the fan-service material that I cannot criticize without bringing the wrath of those who eat it up, it is the first half of the film that I was more impressed with.

Until the introduction of a time travel narrative, I was actually beginning to think that Endgame would be one of the best Marvel movies. Not only was time travel a lazy way to resolve the obnoxious cliffhanger of Infinity War, it felt like a missed opportunity for nostalgia. This was the end of an era for the Marvel films, and they could have reminded us of the many great moments by revisiting them, but basically all we get as reminder is a few seconds from the first Avengers film and the worst of the Thor films. The time travel sequences are passable, but that is a decline from the bold beginning of the film, and one that plummets when we get into the final act. But hey, if you like special effects, there are lots of those.

The Blu-ray release comes with fittingly nostalgic featurettes on Robert Downey Jr., the role of Captain America, and the character of Black Widow (a little promotion before they cram another film from the retired superhero down our throats). More importantly to most will be the deleted scenes (there is also a gag reel), and a tribute to someone that actually passed away: Stan Lee. There are more extras, mostly promotional, along with a digital copy of the movie (no DVD copy). The film looks spectacular on Blu-ray, and you likely wouldn’t want to watch it any other way, unless you are 4K capable.

Entertainment Value: 8/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10
Historical Significance:  8.5/10
Special Features: 7.5/10

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